Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Web Secret 597: Google self-destruct

Google and YouTube have now given us an option to set search and location data to automatically disappear after a certain time.

You should do that.

For years, Google has kept a record of our internet searches by default. Scary.

Most of Google’s new privacy controls are in a web tool called My Activity.

Once you get into the tool and click on Activity Controls, you will see an option called Web & App Activity.

Click Manage Activity and then the button under the calendar icon. Here, you can set your activity history on several Google products to automatically erase itself after three months or after 18 months. This data includes searches made on Google.com, voice requests made with Google Assistant, destinations that you looked up on Maps and searches in Google’s Play app store.

Which duration should you go for? I recommend 3 months.

New to Google’s privacy controls this week is the ability to auto-delete your YouTube history, which includes searches and the videos you’ve watched.

In the My Activity tool, click on Activity controls and look for the button for YouTube history.

Click on Manage history and you will see a similar calendar icon, which lets you set YouTube history to delete after three months.

That was easy.